Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Ongoing Argument Between Us

A klieg light style searchlight in service during World War II.

Wiki says: A Klieg light is an intense carbon arc lamp especially used in filmmaking. It is named after inventor John H. Kliegl and his brother Anton Tiberius Kliegl. Modern Klieg lights use a tungsten-halogen filament. They usually have a fresnel lens with a spherical reflector or an ellipsoidal reflector with a lens train containing two Plano Convex lens or a single step lens.

However, many searchlights are also klieg lights. As klieg lights are used in this poem I would recommend keeping in mind the theatrical posture and the warfare connotations at the same time. Often in theatrical use, one places color filters over the lights to both enhance the lighting effects and to soften the light, a calculated pretense.

This poem was inspired by Karen's work, New Wine

The Ongoing Argument Between Us

The harsh call of claims
unvarnished and the klieg lights
of smashed up desire,
yes, the taking of
bitter polar positions
just leaves me breathless
before I can run
away from your deep disdain
and oh! I still bleed.

February 29,2012 6:12 PM

Klieg Lights In Theater

Larceny At The Spaceport

The Spaceport They Built In Arizona - For Your Eyes Only

Thom writes: 3WW CCLXI - Each week, I post three words. You write something using the words. Then come back and post a link to the contribution with Mr. Linky (but please, link to the exact post, not your blog, by clicking on the exact post title and paste it to Mr. Linky below). As always, there's no hard-and-fast rule that you have to post on Wednesday.  Here's the link to the site: *click here*

This week's words:

Crinkle; demand; navigate.

Larceny At The Spaceport

The lights will crinkle
in their orbits, amused with
me, with my demand
that you navigate
the long years from the Dog Star
back to me despite
all my bad acts, all
I said to you, and how I
stole the best fuel cells.

written leap year day, February 29, 2012 5:03 AM

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Walk Off The Earth

As I wait for Three Word Wednesday, here is a musical offering that will touch you somehow no matter who you are. The discipline in this is utterly amazing and the performance given by several people who not only love each other but are remarkably tolerant.

A good friend of mine shared this on FaceBook and I picked it up from her. I think it deserves wide distribution. The U-Tube already has half a million hits in its present form and there is at least one other performance of the same song, a U-Tube of the performance they gave on Ellen Degeneres' show.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Walking At Three AM

Walking At Three AM

I have fallen prey
in this hour of the night wolf,
fallen to the teeth
and hot breath of all
the ghosts of my dimming life.

The swirl of things near
my head and cracked heart
point with dead fingers at me
and at the leaking
of my living blood.

They declare me a sad mess,
and I believe them.

March 8, 2010 9:42 AM

Here's hoping you can stay asleep rather than step out the door.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lost Clarity

Warhol At The Grocery Store courtesy of Tess at Magpie Tales

Wiki says: "Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement."

I don't know which of these soups is right for him. I am confused about more important things, ever since he left town.

The other day I had to take a wild hive from our house porch column, up at the top. Me and a buddy. We failed to dress completely, only half suits, and these were aggressive bees. I don't know how many times I was stung but things got weird by the end of the day, I can tell you. We got that hive moved though.

I'll go home to stock the shelter I dug in our backyard. We'll need it for sure this year. How much soup will we actually need? I guess I am going to triple up on my glasses too. Can't see nothing without them. I dug the thing back in '99 because of Y2K, but I fell in love with the idea when my Dad put one in back in the fifties. We knew the bomb was going to drop. We all trained to dive under the school desks but I knew that was stupid.

But damn, Clarice. You had to go hire on to the FBdamnI. I got rid of all the sheep.

Lost Clarity

At that time, under
that younger yellow sunlight,
in that noon moonrise,
in the first quarter,
I thought you heard me clearly,
would have sworn it so.

The way you are now,
I know you have changed. Your heart
beats another beat,
and my tongue twists up
as I try to say simple
things I need to say.

March 7, 2010 10:22 PM

This post written for Magpie Tales, Mag 106 *click here*

Friday, February 24, 2012

Giving Permission

This is a carbon copy of the memo Harry Truman wrote when he gave permission to drop the atom bomb on Japan. It reads:
"Reply to your 41011. Suggestions approved. Release when ready but not sooner than August 2. -HST"

I could have been more frivolous in this poem. Well, yes, I am having a bit of fun here except there is a bit of creepiness in it for me, like I might be pulling my cover a bit and I am not entirely comfortable with that. Maybe it's just a mood. Everything will be better soon.

I'm of course the guy with ideals and one of them is I will live and love as transparently and honestly as possible. However, I must say, it's just that there really seem to be situations where a good lie is better than the truth. Of course the truth is always better than a bad or stupid lie. I do consider myself a master storyteller after all. Wouldn't my lies be beautiful too?? Damn. This is really thick. So yes, come on in. I'll just go in the kitchen and make us some tea. Sit yourself down right here. I'll just be a moment...

Giving Permission

I was saying just
to be saying as I let
you in, let you come
through the door after
you rang the bell, asking my
permission to cross
my soul's main threshold,
but then waving, I slipped out
the open back door.

March 7, 2010 8:38 AM

Thursday, February 23, 2012

On This Round

Second Growth On It's Way To Maturity

There are older redwoods in this picture from a California national park. This kind of growth occurs in all older forests where clearings occur for any reason. There can even be third growth sometimes.

On This Round

That I should know you
like the spoor left in new snow,
like the way ravens
eye my passage here
beneath the second growth trees
north of the meadow,
this mystery life
we have chosen on this round
of the world's great wheel
is like having wings.

March 6, 2010 7:42 PM

Remember, "Of all forms of caution, caution in love is the most fatal."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sitcom Lament

Mr. Hanks very early in his career.

Thom of Three Word Wednesday writes: "Each week, I post three words. You write something using the words. Then come back and post a link to the contribution with Mr. Linky (but please, link to the exact post, not your blog, by clicking on the exact post title and paste it to Mr. Linky below). As always, there's no hard-and-fast rule that you have to post on Wednesday."

This week's words:


I consider the challenge is not only to use these words but to not change them in any way as well, but that's just me. Many people do make the changes of tense or plural or some other change as necessary. Many people will write longer prose pieces. Indeed, if you want you should go to the site and click on several links to see what all our friends do. To get there *click here*

Sitcom Lament

The power to cancel me
should not be given
to the likes of you.
I got to whine about that.
My thin elastic
panty band just snapped,
and there's something wrong with that
after the labor
of so many people
went into making this run.
Cross dressing just sucks
sometimes, doesn't it?

written February 22, 2012 4:35 AM

Bosom Buddies (TV Series 1980–1982)
30 min - Comedy

Two single men must disguise themselves as women to live in the one apartment they can afford.

Creators: Robert L. Boyett, Thomas L. Miller, Chris Thompson
Stars: Tom Hanks, Peter Scolari and Donna Dixon

Information from

Monday, February 20, 2012

Your Rose Heat

"As we meditate, we simply sit straight and watch the breath. So what does that do? It creates space. (Italics mine) In fact, the technique itself is just a trick. The main point is to recognize all these thoughts and distractions that are constantly bombarding us. ..." - Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, "Do Nothing", Tricycle Wisdom Collection

I think we need to take that statement literally. It is not so that the only form of meditation is to sit straight and watch the breath. What is so, every form of meditation creates space, and I would add, creates sacred space. In that sacred space or through it something can happen outside our ordinary experience.

I have long held that the world of our ordinary experience is a world filled with boundaries created by self will. Every sentient creature describes a bound space in this way. As we live we encounter and maneuver through this divided world of self will boundaries and it is this world that might be called "the world that God permits".

It is as if the primary covenant between God and Creation is the permission and consequent freedom described as self will. It is within this description that individuality appears.

It is also true that men have been aware of another world and yearned after it or else the power that comes of it. That yearning was present by evidence in caves and the like at least 45,000 years ago. That sacred world is what is left when self will of all kinds becomes either aligned or irrelevant. You might call that world "God's World" or "the Kingdom" or the "Pure Land" (Buddhist) or "Heaven".

To reach that clarity, the clarity of God's World and draw it close might be called "creating space" and it is what meditation is about. It is also what the highest forms of prayer and magic are about.

Your Rose Heat

Remembering you
under the crystalline sky,
the gray of the low
sun and the fierce cold,
how it brought out your rose heat
as you stood open
near the living source,
and near to me as you chose.
I have touched you there.

March 6, 2010 5:55 AM

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Carrying The Message

Phone Booth Epic Mahoney courtesy Tess Kincaid as the Mag 105 photo prompt

Carrying The Message

I've gone as you said
to the back of this old world,
behind the staging
and there's no one here.

The cell service has faded
so I stand in this
phone booth (who uses
these booths these days?) with my bike
wearing out, and me
not sure what to say.

If this line gets through
call me your monkey's uncle.

February 19, 2012 1:15 PM

written for Magpie Tales, Mag 105 *click here*

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Behind My Eyes

Vin Diesel - There are many others *click here*

Behind My Eyes

You've turned me upside
down and told me you love me
while blood pools behind
my eyes and I see
through the mist.

The night followed
by day, pale quarter
moon rising near noon -
I've embraced this reversal
while your deep warm scent
changes my heart's beat.

March 5, 2010 7:19 AM

I just received one of the kindest communications I have ever received. I am grateful for friends who love me.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Old Friends

Two Old Friends, by George Underwood

George Underwood, born in England in 1947, grew up friends with David Bowie and initially entered the music business. He made his chops working there after deciding that music wasn't for him and has hundreds of illustrations and book covers, album covers and the like to his credit. He began working in oils along the way and now has many shows in museums and other venues to his credit as well. David Bowie and he continue to be old friends to this day.

Old Friends

I did walk with you
the rocky places drawn out
by small or large steps
along the paths we chose
without knowing how we chose
and all this so long
before time began,
our stars rolled out from behind
the drapes of heaven.

Know it is all just.
Know it is so, just like this.
Know I love you now.

March 4, 2010 4:55 PM
small modifications ‎February ‎17, ‎2012

There's a postscript...I have been on FaceBook for a while. At one point I decided to look for a man I knew once as a boy, me in third grade, he in fourth. For a short time in those days (but a long time in kid years) this man was my best friend. In the summer between third and fourth grade my folks took advantage of the post World War II situation and turned themselves into teachers in the California school system, both high school teachers, and ultimately my Dad went into Administration. They moved us out to the valley so they could go to teachers college at the College of the Pacific in Stocton. We lived in a small town on the way to the Sierras called Oakdale, where I spent fourth and fifth grades. My friend of course was left behind in Berkeley, and this separation was an exquisite pain for me, one that would be repeated more than once through my life, but this was really my first time. I never really got back together with him again, though I learned something of him later and my knowledge helped me when I searched for him on FaceBook. I found him.

Now I have an old friend, a friend of fifty nine years... I believe that's correct. We email and talk frequently and it's as if we never parted really. He lives in Minnesota. Once we lived on opposite sides of the same block in post war Berkeley and LeConte Elementary School where we both attended was new. I have Googled my street. The school is still there. My house is too, but it has been gentrified. I lived in the house next door as well. That house has been completely rebuilt. Both places were apartment houses in the war years and after. My folks were poor as poor can be, living in shabby apartments. That of course was fine with me. A Nobel prize winning scientist (the prize still in the future in those years) lived around the corner, this neighborhood being one that some University of California at Berkeley students and teachers would choose.

FaceBook is amazing for this sort of thing.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Dark Red Wind

"We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold. And what can life be worth if the first rehearsal for life is life itself? That is why life is always like a sketch. No, "sketch" is not quite the word, because a sketch is an outline of something, the groundwork for a picture, whereas the sketch that is our life is a sketch for nothing, an outline with no picture." - Milan Kundera

Wiki says: Milan Kundera, born 1 April 1929, is a writer of Czech origin who has lived in exile in France since 1975, where he became a naturalized citizen in 1981. He is best known as the author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, and The Joke. Kundera has written in both Czech and French. He revises the French translations of all his books; these therefore are not considered translations but original works. His books were banned by the Communist regimes of Czechoslovakia until the downfall of the regime in the Velvet Revolution of 1989.

The original as found is called Red Blood Splat by Vaakash
Cropped from the original found on Deviant Art - *click here*

The Dark Red Wind

That's when I heard you
say "rubicund" and wondered
if I could ever
measure myself by
your moonlit midnight standards,
the sudden display
of nighttime blue light,
and the whispering sumac
in the darker red
wind of ancient Rome.

March 4, 2010 2:21 PM

Webster says:
Rubicund: Ruddy or red, inclining to redness...(perhaps as a judicious mixture of wind, rain, and beer) from the Latin rubicundus coming out of ruber, red. The word red is ancient, of course and is unified throughout much of the Indo-European language streams in the red- through the rub- versions, the "r" beginning itself invariant. Thus "ruddy" also implying a kind of red. This color of all colors is as old as it can be, named as it is. An ancient tribesman living near the Caspian Sea would get the point of "red" quickly and would probably call red something very similar. All this is sourced of course in the fact that blood is red and so primary among colors in that very intimate way. The linguistic drift through the millenia is not large for that reason.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Handbill On St. Peter's Gate

Approaching St. Peter's Gate

Thom of Three Word Wednesday writes:

Each week, I post three words. You write something using the words. Then come back and post a link to the contribution with Mr. Linky (but please, link to the exact post, not your blog, by clicking on the exact post title and paste it to Mr. Linky below). As always, there's no hard-and-fast rule that you have to post on Wednesday.

This week's words:

Angelic; Foster; Ruin.

Handbill On St. Peter's Gate

This week's directions
reach angelic proportions,
foster the high time
ruin of the world,
in a full dress rehearsal
of the performance
slated for the boards
of Heaven's main theatric
at year's end, this year.

Your presence duly required.

February 15, 2012 10:47 AM

Written for Three Word Wednesday *click here*

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I'm Ready To Go - Happy Valentine's Day

I'm Ready To Go

What I shall carry
with me this dew bright passage
is the truth of you
all life long as we
roll and slide and lift right up
the covers, the heat
of us one meshed heat.
All love's air belongs to us.
So do all love's dreams.

February 14, 2012 5:05 PM

The poem was written in response to Rachel's poem One Day posted on her Waxing Moon blog. *click here*

This is a later performance Peter, Paul, and Mary did, a cover of the John Denver song. I didn't much care for John as a performer but he was hands down a crackerjack composer. This song was featured in the Bruce Willis movie Armageddon, a rather amusing segment. It might be worth checking it out. You can click on it next after this performance is done but it might not make sense if you don't know the movie.

Happy Valentine's Day. I am in love with so many women. Most of you know who you are.

Monday, February 13, 2012

In Lucy's Kitchen


Every year I get a cranefly, sometimes more than one, in my bathroom. I don't notice them elsewhere in my house. I suppose this is because there is a skylight in my bathroom and that makes the bathroom light the most like daylight in my house. I love these craneflies. They are so delicate and short-lived. Now Lucy posted *click here* on her kitchen lacewing fly. She also posted concerning her new passport. In that passport is a photo of Lucy, one of the only ones I have seen. I am grateful for that. My inner vision of Lucy has been all over the map and of course not at all like the photo.

In Lucy's Kitchen

Lacewing eyes casting
about, noticing purple
crisp cover tabled
across the warm air.
Her toes crackle on French glass.
Lacewing dreams travel
across the channel
producing the permission
needed to enter
Brit air on the wing.
Lucy's new passport just glows
and tells on us all.

‎February ‎13, ‎2012 5:15 PM

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Guard Duty

From Tess Kincaid's Magpie Tales

Guard Duty

Pale Medusa sleeps
in the black rage hot cauldron
of masculine dream
gathering serpent
power, stony hissing steam
of rapier sight.
Each inhale colors
her blade blood red, each exhale
spills anxiety
from her graven bed,
she so marble statue still
as I stand my watch.

February 12, 2012 1:02 PM

Written for the image offered this week on Tess Kincaid's Magpie Tales *click here*

"Clarity is one of the things I like to go for. I don't think we're ever free from this mysterious mechanism, though. Mystery can go all the way from not knowing what to do with yourself to standing in awe at the vast activity of the cosmos which no man can penetrate. I don't think we're ever free from any of that. On the other hand, you can't go around continually expressing your awe before these celestial mechanics. These are things that maybe we should keep to ourselves. I think that we're surrounded by, infused with and operate on a mysterious landscape, every one of us." - Leonard Cohen

Friday, February 10, 2012

29 Years Dry Today

Today marks the 29th anniversary. About two weeks previous to this day 29 years ago, my wife took the risk. She told me I was to leave our house and take my bottle with me should I choose to continue drinking. She said that if I stopped drinking, we would see if we could continue married. She pointed out that her medical insurance would pay for my 20 some odd days of inpatient treatment for alcoholism. She thought I should go there but that would be up to me.

I spent the next two weeks in extreme distress and then collapsed into my fate. On my last night I drank as usual and woke more or less sober in the morning as usual. She drove me to treatment. I went to my first AA meeting under treatment direction a week later. I have not had another drink since that morning.

The Red Sands Of Gnome

The gnomes under me
have stirred and clatter awake,
troubled with your scent
much like we dislike
the signs left by hissing cats.

They are the displaced
mud river gnomes dumped
here last time God rumbled by
in His dwarf humvee,
all militarist
in His latest gruff pretense.
They do hate the dry.

February 10, 2012 8:00 AM

You too can write weird poetry like this. All you have to do is not drink and not die for twenty nine years. Well...perhaps not all. Thanks to my friend Wander over at Wander Without Being Lost for his reminder of my responsibilities toward the gnomes.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Flutter Of Friends

Lunar Light

"There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that's what everyone else does." - John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

A Flutter Of Friends

Like moths to a flame
the ones willing to hold you
gather near this place
as if fluttering
wings would block the steel blue shades
and keep you in light.

This is what we have,
the flutter of friends within
the fall of this night,
and under it all
the hum of love sustains us
and our ragged flight.

March 2, 2010 8:40 AM

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Jeckyll And Hyde

Once again, I am joining with the Three Word Wednesday (3WW) crowd. You can touch base with them by clicking *3WW*

Each week, I post three words. You write something using the words. Then come back and post a link to the contribution with Mr. Linky (but please, link to the exact post, not your blog, by clicking on the exact post title and paste it to Mr. Linky below). I invite everyone to check back often to read and comment on other contributions. This week's words:

Control; Flesh; Razor.

Jeckyll And Hyde

It must be bad speed
or some awful concoction,
of nightmare powders.
I've lost all control,
it's supposed to be all peace
and love, what they claimed -
maybe bad acid -
but damn! ribbons of raw flesh,
a bloody razor??

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Low Pressure

Blowing a Gale

++ Stormy Weather at Fort Foster. Beaufort Scale definition of a moderate gale: Sea heaps up. Some foam from breaking waves is blown into streaks along wind direction. Moderate amounts of airborne spray.

This photo was taken by N. Houlihan on March 1, 2005 in Kittery Point, Maine, US

Low Pressure

The wind is a hole
in the flatulence of sky,
a shift to fall in
or out. We release
the last ropes of inquiry
and stop declaring
edges among them.
The wind is a hole that breaks
all my frayed straight lines.

‎February ‎7, ‎2012 9:58 AM



We ply the old trade,
and wandering from one far place
to another down
the stream of true song,
we seek to find love's turned key
in the locks of life.

The dream child dances
beside the bed we have made
for our hope, where we
lie down in moonlight
after the last song is sung,
after the smith has
banked back all the fire.

February 28, 2010 10:01 AM

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Too Far Gone

A grave at the Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow.

Too Far Gone

You cradle my lines
in the sculpted hands we gave
the world right after
your revolution.

Oh I know how you feel now,
the outlaw strains on
your inner fathoms
and I would give anything
to settle this all down.

February 5, 2012 1:50 PM

Written for this week's Magpie Tales

Click on this link: The Mag 103 to see the work others have done with this image.

The Pivot On Which I Turn

The Center of the Universe is in the Fremont District of Seattle.

The Pivot On Which I Turn

What I have is not
a secret, not abnormal
stuff, ancient honor
distilled into my
present life from countless lives
of questions, answers
which are more questions.
It is only that I saw
so clearly this time -
but saw just that once
and by now quite a long time
past, decades, decades.

February 5, 2012 2:02 AM

A close up. Nice to know Atlantis has been found.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Object Lesson

Object Lesson

Birds suffer silence
and steely dark eyed after
the fatal world bite
and me, I snivel
at far less even while I
watch them - instruction
in how to die well
of the cruelty handed
out so freely here.

February 2, 2012 12:46 PM

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